Judge orders Tacoma officials to get public records training

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — City of Tacoma department heads will get court-ordered public records training after a recent ruling in a lawsuit against the city.

The News Tribune reports that public records activist Arthur West sued the city in 2016, arguing that it failed to provide records related to Puget Sound Energy’s planned liquefied natural gas plant on the Tacoma Tideflats.

Judge Frank Cuthbertson ordered the city to pay $36,800 in penalties for negligently failing to disclose a fire protection study and a siting report.

Cuthbertson also ordered the records training.

He said additional Public Records training for all City department heads is needed so they know the "importance of a clear and consistent process of compliance with the Public Records Act.”

Asked about the decision, a city spokesperson told the The News Tribune in a statement: “The City of Tacoma respects the court’s decision and takes its obligations under the Public Records Act seriously, including training of its employees, elected officials and volunteers.”

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